Clash-hit Hyderabad tense

HYDERABAD: With situation in the old city remaining tense after communal clashes, the Andhra Pradesh government today said that additional forces, including nearly 1000 paramilitary personnel despatched by the Centre, were being deployed to restore peace in the trouble-hit areas.

The situation continued to be tense following the clashes that erupted last evening, Chief Minister K Rosaiah told the state assembly.

"We are constantly monitoring and reviewing the situation and also talking to the Centre on this. The Centre has sent 10 companies (about 1000 personnel) of paramilitary forces on my request to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram," he said.

At least 36 people were injured in stone-pelting and 70 others taken into custody after the clashes between two communities in the old city. Prohibitory orders were clamped in 18 police stations of south zone and four police stations of Goshamahal division of west zone of the city.

Rosaiah said the government was taking every step to ensure peace and appealed to all sections to observe restraint. "AICC President Sonia Gandhi called me over phone today and enquired about the situation. She has also appealed for peace," the Chief Minister added.

Home Minister P Sabita Reddy visited some of the trouble spots this morning while Director General of Police R R Girish Kumar was in the affected areas till late in the night.

Earlier, the opposition parties pressed for a discussion in the assembly through an adjournment motion on the issue but Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy disallowed it.

Agitated members of the Majlis Ittehadul-e-Muslimeen, however, remained insistent on a discussion.

MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said the situation in old city was so volatile that students were unable to venture out to go to the examination centres.

He wanted the government to postpone ongoing exams. The police force posted in old city was inadequate, Owaisi said.

Education Minister D Manikya Varaprasada Rao assured Owaisi that the government would take an appropriate decision on the examinations after obtaining a report on the situation.

The Home Minister, who drove to the assembly after visiting the old city, said the situation was gradually returning to normal.

Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu appealed to people to observe restraint and ensure that things did not flare up.

The MIM MLAs created a din and sought to block the proceedings, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.(PTI)

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